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June 30, 2014
Harrington Wins National Stroke Care Award

SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass., June 30, 2014 — Harrington HealthCare System has won a Get With The Guidelines Silver Plus Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

Get With The Guidelines – Stroke helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Harrington earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

“Providing quality care is always our first priority at Harrington,” said Kathleen Davis, Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety. “We are dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and The American Heart Association/American Stroke Associations Get With The Guidelines – Stroke helps us achieve that goal.”

The award, for results during 2013, recognizes Harringtons success in implementing exceptional care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines. To earn the award, Harrington achieved 85 percent or higher adherence to the guidelines for stroke quality achievement indicators. Harrington also achieved at least 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight guidelines for stroke quality measures during the same time period.

Get With The Guidelines – Stroke also helps Harringtons staff implement prevention measures, which include educating stroke patients to manage their risk factors and to be aware of warning signs for stroke, and ensuring they take their medications properly. Hospitals can make customized patient education materials available upon discharge, based on the patients individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format in either English or Spanish.

“We are pleased to recognize Harrington for its commitment and dedication to stroke care,” said Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee and Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Womens Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies have shown that hospitals that consistently follow Get With The Guidelines quality improvement measures can reduce patients length of stays and 30-day readmission rates and reduce disparity gaps in care.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.